(116 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

Septenary: a line of seven beats, usually more or less iambic in movement. Often divided by rhyme or on the page into two lines, one of four beats and one of three (followed by a silent beat – see isoictic), it is the common metre of ballads and hymns:

The King | sat in | Dumferm|line Town
Drinking | the blood-|red wine:
“O where | will I find | a skee|ly ski|pper
To sail | this new ship | o’mine?”

Anon, “The Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens”

There is | a green | hill far | away,
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Groves, Peter Lewis. "Septenary". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 June 2007
[, accessed 07 July 2015.]